magnificent Red Fort or Lal Qila was built by the emperor Shah Jahan
ad is a part of the walled city of Shahjahanabad. Within its
fortifications are exquisite palaces, a finely proportioned mosque
the Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-i -Am or hall of public audience
and the finely ornamented Diwan-Khas or hall pouf private audience,
where the Mughal emperors held court seated o the bejeweled golden
great mosque of Old Delhi is both 1 largest in India and the final
extravagance of Shah Jahan. Commences 1644, the mosque was not
completed 1658. It has three great gateways, four an towers and two
minarets standing 40 met high and constructed of alternating verity
strips of red sandstone and white marble.
flights of steps lead up to the imposing gateways. The eastern
gateway was originally only opened for the emperor, and now only
open on Fridays and Musleem festival days. The general public can
enter either the north or south gate Shoes should be removed
and those people considered unsuitably dressed (bare legs for either
men or women) can hire robes at the Northgate. The courtyard of
the mosque has a capacity of 25,000 people. For it's possible climb
the southern minaret, and the views all directions arc superb-Old
Delhi, the Red Fort and the polluting factories beyond it across the
river, and New Delhi to the south. You can also see one of the
features that the architect Lutyens incorporated into his design of
New Delhi - the Jama Masjid, Connaught Place and Sansad Bhavan (Par-liament
House) are in a direct line. There's also a fine view of the Red
port from the east side of the mosque.
by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354, the ruins of Ferozabad, the fifth
city of Delhi can be found at Feroz Shah Kotla, Just off Bahadur
Shah Zafur Marg between the old and new Delhi's. In the frortress-places
is a 13-metre-high sadstone Ashoka pillar inscribed with Ashoa's
edicts The remains of an old mosque and a fine well can also be seen
in the area, but most of the ruins of Ferozabad were used for the
construction of later cities.
of Feroz Shah Kotla, on the banks of the Yamuna, a simple square
platform of black marble marks of the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was
cremated following his assassination in 1948. A commemorative
ceremony takes place each Friday, the day he was killed. The Raj
Ghat area is now a beautiful park complete with labeled trees
planted by a mixed bag of notables including Queen Eliabeth II,
Gough Whitlam Dwight Eisenhower and Ho Chi Minn !
42 meter high stone arch of triumph stands at the eastern end of the
Rajpath. It bears the name of 90, 000 Indian Army soldiers who died
in the campaigns of WWI the North-West Frontier operations of the
same time and the 1919 Fagan fiasco.
a short stroll down Sansad Marg from Connaught Place, this strange
collection of salmon-coloured structures is one of Maharaja Jai
Singh It's observatories. The ruler from Jaipur constructed this
observatory in 1725 and it is dominated by a huge sundial known as
the Prince of Dials. Other instruments plot the course of heavenly
bodies and predict eclipes.
official residence of the President of India stands at the opposite
end of the Rajpath from India Gate. Completed in 1929, the
place-like building is a blend of Mughal and Western architectural
styles, the most obvious India feature being the huge copper dome.
To the west of the building is a Mughal garden which occupies 130
hectares, and this is open to the public in February. Prior to
Independence this was the viceroy's residence. At the time of
Mountbatten. India's last viceroy, the number of servants needed to
maintain the 340 rooms and its extensive gardens was enormous. There
were 418 gardeners alone, 50 of them boys whose sole job was to
chase away birds!
another large and imposing building, Sansad Bhavan, the Indian
parliament building, stands almost hidden and virtually unnoticed at
the end of Sansad Marg. or Parliament St, just north of Rajpath. The
building is a circular colonnaded structure 171 metres in diameter.
Its relative physical insignificance in the grand shame of New Delhi
shows how the focus of power has shifted from the viceroy's
residence, which was given pride of place during the time of the
British Raj when New Delhi was concaved.
Permits to visit the parliament and sit in the public gallery are
available from the reception office on Raisina Rd, but you'll need a
letter of introduction form your embassy.
to the east of Siri is this building shaped like a lotus flower.
Built between 1980 and 1986, it is set amongst pools and gardens,
and adherents of any faith are free to vist the temple and pray or
meditate silently according to their own religion. It looks
particularly spectacular at dusk when it is floodlit. The temple is
open to visitors from April to September. daily except Monday from 9
am to 7 pm. and October to March from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
South-east of India Gate and north of Humayun's Tomb and the
Nizamuddin railway station is the old fort. Purana Qula. This is the
suppossed site of Indraprasth, the original city of Delhi. The
Afghan ruler, Sher Shah, who briefly interrrupted the Mughal Empire
by defeating Humanyun, completed the fort during his regn from
1538-45, before Humayun regained control of India. The fort has
massive walls and three large gateways.Entering from the sough gage
you'll see the small octagonal red sandstone tower, the Sher Mandal,
later used by Humayun, as a library. It was while descending the
stairs of this tower one day in 1556 that he slipped fell and
received injuries from which he later died .
in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, senior wife of
Humayn, the second Mughal emperor, this is an early example of
Mughal architecture. The elements in its design- a squat building,
lighted by high arched entrances, topped by a bulbous dome and
surrounded by formal gardens where to be refined over the years to
the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra. This earlier tomb
is thus of great interest for its relation to the later Taj.
Humayun's wife is also buried in the red-and-white sandstone. black
and yellow marble tomb.
Other tombs in the garden include that of Humayun's barber and the
Tomb of Isa Khan, a good example of Lidi architecture.
buildings in this complex, 15 km south of Delhi, date from the onset
of Muslim rule in India and are fine examples of early Afghan
architecture. The Qutab Minar itself is a soaring tower of victory
which was started in 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last
Hindu kingdom in Delhi. It is nearly 73 metres high and tapers from
a 15-metre diameter base to just 2.5 metres at the stop. The tower
has five distances stories, each market by a projecting balcony. The
first three storeys are made of red sandstone. the fourth and fifth
of marble and sandstone. Although Qutab-ud-din began
construction of the tower, he only got to the first story.
Today, this impressively ornate tower has a slight tilt, but
otherwise has worn the centuries remarkably well. The tower is
closed to visitors. and has been for some years after a stampede
during a school trip led to a number of deaths.